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Bit Longer at NIH

Francis Collins is staying on a little longer as the director of the National Institutes of Health, ScienceInsider reports.

The Trump transition team reached out to him to ask him to stay, though ScienceInsider notes it's unclear whether Collins will be formally re-appointed or whether is temporary.

"We just learned that Dr. Collins has been held over by the Trump administration," an NIH spokesperson said in a statement yesterday, according to Nature News. "We have no additional details at this time."

The Trump transition team has been rumored to be considering keeping Collins as NIH director. A group of four Republican lawmakers urged the new president to keep Collins as he is the right person, at the right time, to continue to lead the world's premier biomedical research agency." Collins has said he would stay, if asked.

Others, though, are thought to be under consideration for the spot, including Representative Andy Harris (R-Md.), NantWorks CEO Patrick Soon-Shiong, the former biotech director at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Administration Geoffrey Ling, and John Ioannidis at Stanford University.

If Collins were to remain NIH director, "I think everyone in the research community will be thrilled," Tony Mazzaschi, senior director for policy and research at the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health," tells Nature News.